Hurricanes and Black Mold

Last Updated on by Dr. Hooper

Hurricanes typically occur in wet and humid areas and cause flooding making your home vulnerable to mold.   Black Mold, in particular, is a major issue in the aftermath of a flood since it can initially be difficult to detect and the effects last long after the flood water has been removed.  Black Mold typically refers to several species of mold, a type of fungus which ranges from dark green to black in color.

The most common species found in homes is Stachybotrys chartum.  Black mold thrives in damp and warm environments, such as those created by floods in warm climates and has a distinct odor that is often described as damp, musty or mildewy.  While black mold can grow anywhere where the conditions to thrive are met, it tends to grow in areas that contain significant quantities of cellulose, a plant material common in fiberboard, wood, gypsum board or wallpaper.

Hurricanes typically occur in wet and humid areas and cause flooding making your home vulnerable to mold.   Black Mold, in particular, is a major issue in the aftermath of a flood since it can initially be difficult to detect and the effects last long after the flood water has been removed.  Black Mold typically refers to several species of mold, a type of fungus which ranges from dark green to black in color.  The most common species found in homes is Stachybotrys chartum.  Black mold thrives in damp and warm environments, such as those created by floods in warm climates and has a distinct odor that is often described as damp, musty or mildewy.  While black mold can grow anywhere where the conditions to thrive are met, it tends to grow in areas that contain significant quantities of cellulose, a plant material common in fiberboard, wood, gypsum board or wallpaper.

Mycotoxins are toxic substances produced by a fungus (Black Mold), and these can cause illness.  Exposure to black mold can due to inhalation can cause a range of symptoms including coughing, a stuffy or runny nose, wheezing, red or sore eyes, itchy skin, a sore throat, and nosebleeds. People with respiratory conductions such as Asthma are particularly at risk of developing breathing problems due to black mold.  People with seasonal allergies or mold allergies are also at risk of more severe symptoms, as well as those who are immunocompromised.

The only way of preventing exposure to mycotoxins if preventing mold growth.  Mold can develop in as little as 24 hours so after a hurricane or flooding event so controlling the moisture in your home should be a priority. You can remove moisture by using a dehumidifier, vet vacuum or by using fans and opening windows if the weather allows.

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